This week, I have to shell out $375 big ones to renew my biannual attorney registration in New York. Blurgh. It’s giving me a lot of heartburn, not just because my old firm used to cover this cost, but also because I don’t know if I’ll ever lawyer again. Am I wasting my money?*
As much as I’m enjoying it, I don’t plan to be a stay-at-home-mom indefinitely. I expect to re-enter the out-of-home work force again someday, probably once the kids are in school. But that is about as solid as my plans get. In a few years, will I be ready to return to lawyering? I’m really not sure.
Lawyering and I — we knew each other for seven years. And after all that time, I’m still not sure I would call us friends. Most of the time, I hated my old job at a big corporate law firm. It really boiled down to two things:
- They treated associates like garbage. Partners had zero respect for personal time, a life outside of the office, family commitments, etc. Even when I was very pregnant, I was being asked to pull unnecessary all-nighters. And after I had K-man, I was given a talking to because my hours took a hit. That left a bad taste.
- They treated clients like garbage. Clients were billed by the hour, and partners went to great effort to conjure up extraneous work that needed doing so that those hours really racked up. (And as you can imagine, associates who were creative with their billing were rewarded). We worked for some of the least sympathetic corporate clients you could imagine, but I still felt icky when we sent them bills for shit they never asked us to do.
Maybe corporate law isn’t in my future, but does that mean I have to walk away from the legal field entirely? I invested six figures and three years into getting my JD. That’s a lot to leave on the table, and surely there are other areas of law that aren’t as wholly demoralizing. But will anyone want to hire me for a specialty that I’m not trained in, especially after a 3+ year hiatus?
To be fair, I have paid off all my law school loans, and I was a lawyer for longer than I was a law student, so maybe it’s okay to move on? The real problem with moving on is, I have zero — ZERO — clue what else I could do as a career.
I like sports . . . I could do something in sports? [There’s a little George Costanza Easter egg for you.]
More seriously, when I was having a rough day at my old job, you know what I dreamed about doing instead? Being a math tutor. Weird, right?
Maybe I’ll get lucky and my dream job will fall into my lap. Or who knows, maybe I’ll embrace the long-term SAHM-gig, go hard with the PTA, and coach the shit out of some little league. I have a few years to figure it out.
Until next time,
*I can’t just let my registration lapse while I take some time off. I mean, I could, but then if I ever wanted to go back to the lawyer world, I would have to apply to get reinstated with the bar, which would be a major bummer.